Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Recent obsessions

Today's beautiful things consist of:

1. A generally lovely day overall. Really! It's been nothing but pleasant. Of course the weather is wonderful, but people have been nice and I've made a couple new friends.
2. I went to my first reflection group on my internship, and wouldn't you know, we talked the whole time about worship in the youth context! I couldn't have been more interested. It was a great conversation. And it was so incredibly wonderful that I could take all this stuff I've learned in all my worship classes, and not least from the papers I've graded (and have been grading this week), and actually put it to some practical advice for others. What a delight.
3. Learning more and more about who I am and how I relate to others.

You see, since I got on this self-discovery kick (which I learned, by the way, is characteristic of my personality - to be fascinating with learning about my own identity), so much has become clearer. Especially in my relationship with J. There are so many things that we do and say to one another, been doing it for years, and now I suddenly understand why.

I was blabbing on about my blue aura and trying to get him to take a test, but he was resistant to my spiritual nonsense (did I mention I recently retook Beliefnet's Belief-o-Matic and came out 100% Mahayana Buddhist? See what seminary does to you?). Turns out my blue aura makes me extra mystical, to the annoyance of others. Anyway, he asked me to take a "real" test with results he could understand. So he set before me the Myers-Briggs.

And I turned out to be an ENFJ, borderline ENFP (only 2 questions difference). The Platonic name for these types is Idealist, with subcategories of "Teacher" (J) and "Champion" (P). Essentially, both are inspirational and charismatic, and the former likes to use it to educate and create whole persons (sounds like our College House idea!) and the latter is essentially an activist. The main difference I could see in the questions is that J's are schedulers and P's are not. So I guess Teachers are more organized than Champions. But I think the world would get better even faster with a few more organized activists!

J studied this stuff for one of his classes and he has other classifications they fit also. In addition to being a Teacher/Champion, I'm also most like the Gospel of John, the Tin Man, and Carrie from Sex and the City. Which all sound just about right.

So I'm a person who connects through words. Big shocker, huh? And I talk with my hands, trying to drive the words between me & others. I'm spiritual and base my opinions more strongly on my own experience than data. I lead with my feelings and am super emotional. Yep, pretty much all spot-on. And, there aren't many of me...only 2-3% of people. Maybe that's why so many people think I'm a dork when I talk so much. I'm not trying to dominate, I'm simply trying to make connections! And I found out that I always want to comment on something that a story reminds me of because that is how I connect my heart and story to the other persons'. Makes perfect sense. I do that constantly. J used to say it was a sign I was self-absorbed. But in reality, it's my way of being less self-absorbed because I'm using it as a way to show the other person that I'm like them, so I'm a safe person to share themselves with.

Speaking of J, on the other hand, he's an INTJ, a Rationalist, also known as a MasterMind. No, I'm not making that up. And he's also Gospel of Luke, Straw Man, and Miranda. Yep, that's my boy.

Turns out that Rationals and Idealists make perfect mates. Who'da thought? And MasterMinds and Champions are even more perfectly suited. Wow, we lucked out.

But it's great, because now when he tells me to hush, I realize he's just trying to be efficient in his work (Rationalist trait). And when he needs personal space, or doesn't want my advice, I know it's because he's autonomous and thinks I'm threatening his autonomy. Conversely, I will overemphasize his opinion of me because I pull my self-worth from others' thoughts on me (and their comments especially; remember, I'm deeply attuned to words).

At any rate, things are much more fun around our house now, because we can point out all the little personality quirks that have suddenly become - instead of threatening or fights - habits and mannerisms that make us laugh together. God bless the people who come up with these tests!


Anonymous said...

Loved this post!

I spent about a year of very involved study/thought of the Myers-Briggs once it helped me realize that being on the pastoral track was tearing me up. It's also the reason I am now a psych major.

Anyway, once you get over the initial wow factor, you'll quickly learn that only a small number of the people you tell about it will find it interesting. This was a huge disappointment for me.

I've got a description page for NTs and NFs that I believe you and Mr. J will find fascinating.

You can email me at thesicyank@hotmail.com if you're interested, and I'll send 'em over.

Kate said...

Woot! I love personality tests. One of my personal favorites is The Color Code. I'm white with a hint of blue.

As far as Myers-Briggs goes, I am an INTP...just like Einstein!

Shawna Atteberry said...

I found you through RevGals, and I've been lurking for about a week. I had the same experience with the Myers-Briggs. I found out that I was an INFP. A lot things clicked for me after that about my personality and quirks.

M.J. said...

Wow, it's nice to know that I am not the only "Dork" around - there are some similar traits between the two of us - although I am still searching for that perfect partner match.

I wonder where others in seminary or ministry tend to fall in this area - and does denominational preference play into it? I mean think of it - would ECUSA/Anglicans be "more" mystical than say others? I think I know the answer to that one already - after this past year I have come to realize that there is no way I can shake my Anglican identity nor do I want to. What do you think?

M.J. said...


Email me at netterb@gmail.com with your email address. I need to catch you up on some stuff.


JTB said...

I'm an INTP, along with Kate (and Einstein, apparently...)

Brent is an INFJ, which he recently discovered while doing the psych eval stuff for the ordination process. We too had some weeks of fun analytical discussion after that while we diagnosed each other's quirks and pet peeves. Now I get to say to him, "you're so J, just get over it."